Schoppmeier, Sören (2019):
"Playing to Make America Great Again." COPAS 20.1
Journal Article

This article examines the politics of mainstream videogames in the contemporary political moment in the United States. To illustrate the political agency of videogames, the paper first considers the entanglements of videogames and gamer culture in the anti-progressive backlash that has accompanied Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and presidency by looking at the GamerGate harassment campaign. The article then provides a critical reading of Ubisoft’s Far Cry 5 (2018), which demonstrates how the videogame (re)produces reactionary ideologies. Far Cry 5 repeatedly employs tropes and narratives steeped in American colonialism, expresses a yearning for the past and its way of life, and works through a logic of taking back the country under the feeling of having one’s home taken away by strangers. As it thus evokes a sense of ‘making America great again,’ Far Cry 5 exemplifies the political resonance of videogames in the ongoing phenomenon of Trumpism in the United States.